The Academy has undertaken comprehensive efforts to support our call for a national plan to address Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC or Long COVID) and the 3 to 10 million Americans it is affecting. AAPM&R understands the need for focused, meaningful, and ongoing clinical exchange between the medical community to assess and implement appropriate clinical practice for treating and following all long-term COVID issues, not just those issues requiring PM&R intervention, is necessary. The goal of the Collaborative is to foster engagement and share experiences to propel the health system towards defining standards of care for persons experiencing Long COVID-19/PASC.
In March 2021, we launched a Multi-Disciplinary PASC Collaborative of experts to develop:
- clinical guidance to improve quality-of-care.
- formal education and resources to improve experience-of-care and health equity.
The Collaborative will do this by:
- Discussing and establishing best practices and protocols, including assessment and treatment principles;
- Disseminating learnings and developing resources for the medical community, ensuring inclusion of primary care providers and those attempting to develop a PASC clinic;
- Engaging patient/caregiver partners to develop and disseminate patient resources; and,
- Promote patient-centeredness and health equity.
The collaborative is led by:
- Benjamin Abramoff, MD, MS – University of Pennsylvania – Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- Eric Herman, MD – Oregon Health & Science University – Chief Primary Care and Population Health Officer
- Jason Maley, MD – Massachusetts General Hospital – Pulmonary & Critical Care
35 Post COVID Clinics from across the country are participating with practitioners from multiple medical specialties and healthcare disciplines, as well as federal representation and patient organization representation.
The Collaborative’s guidance statements will be released a rolling basis. The fatigue guidance statement is available here, and the breathing discomfort and cognitive impairment guidance statements are underway. Along with guidance statement development, the Collaborative is focused on development of PASC clinical infrastructure guidance as well. As an estimated 80+ clinics have been created and the collaborative estimates that each can only handle 10-20 patients per week on average compared to the millions of people who have symptoms. The need for infrastructure guidance, pediatric guidance development and integrating health equity into each deliverable will be critical to the collaboratives goals and will support the overall call to action.